Rani Padmini palace in Chittorgarh Fort was vandalised by Karni Sena members
The 13th century Chittorgarh Fort in Rajasthan was vandalized last evening by activists of fringe group Karni Sena, who shattered mirrors in the Padmini Mahal, the palace of the legendary Rajput queen. The attackers pretended to be tourists to get past the lone security guard posted outside the palace, which stands within the fort complex, surrounded by a small lake.
A case has been filed against unknown people.
Claiming responsibility for the attack, the Karni Sena said it had warned that the mirrors in the Padmini palace would be destroyed if they were not removed. The mirrors were installed about 50 years ago. The group alleges that the mirrors misrepresent the story of queen Padmini, who preferred to commit Jauhar or self-immolation to protect her honour rather than submit to Muslim ruler Alauddin Khilji. Khilji, the Sultan Of Delhi, had attacked the kingdom of Chittorgarh in 1303 apparently to capture the queen, renowned for her beauty.
The mirrors in Padmini Mahal are shown to tourists as part of the narrative that the queen's face was revealed to Alauddin Khilji in a mirror as part of a compromise with her husband Rana Ratan Singh. Karni Sena activists insist that it is wrong to say the queen's face was ever shown to the ruler. Mirrors, they claim, did not exist during the time.
The same group had assaulted filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali last month during the shoot of his period drama "Padmavati"
based on the queen. It accused Mr Bhansali of filming a dream sequence depicting romance between Padmini and Alauddin Khilji, played by actors Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh - an allegation that the filmmaker vehemently denied.
The Chittorgarh Fort is a heritage monument protected by the Archeological Survey of India.
Some historians believe Queen Padmini was only a fictional character imagined by Sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi in an allegorical poem written in Awadhi.